Mechanical issues put Petersburg fire trucks out of commission again

PETERSBURG, Va. (WRIC) -- Mechanical issues have once again put several Petersburg fire trucks out of commission. Now the city does not even have enough of their own equipment to operate, so they are relying on a loner from a neighboring jurisdiction.

"Right now, the situation is in dire straits," Gene Beemer, with the Petersburg Firefighters Association said. "We use to have two reserve engines. They are 1988 Seagraves. Right now, all of our reserve pieces are broken down."

Some crews are now responding to fires using a pick-up truck. They have been storing air tanks in the back seat, an action Beemer says is against regulations.

"It's not equipped to carry air packs, it doesn't have the safety brackets on it that it needs to secure the air packs in case there is an accident," Beemer said.

Thankfully, neighbors to the north had an extra truck that they have made available to Petersburg crews.

"We're borrowing an engine from Colonial Heights Fire Department, which was borrowed from them yesterday, in order to keep fire protection going in the city," Beemer said.

So their reserve units are broken down, but what about their main ladder truck? It is still locked up at the repair shop.

While repairs are complete, the city has yet to pay their bill in full.

"Our main truck has been at AES for at least two and a half months," Beemer said.

8News learned that the city has made two payments to the repair shop for the work they've done, but they still owe $7,500.

This is a developing story. Stay with 8News online and on air for the latest updates.

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